Monday, November 5, 2012

Homesteading in a Camper or Travel Trailer during Winter

I reviewed some online articles concerning how to homestead in a travel or camper trailer during the Winter to keep warm in about -9 degrees F, these helpful tips were gleaned from "The Tiny Voice of Reason"  and Homesteading Today's websites/forums.

    You can use hay bales as insulation for the skirting around your travel or camper trailer, however, keep in mind that the mice will be moving in and that hay is prone to spontaneously combust and is a fire hazard. Another form of insulation that would work would be creating a wind break by using permaculture, or various sized plants in pots or planted in the ground in various heights and staggering areas to create a barrier for the wind as wind is the main cause of heat loss during Winter, especially if you have no trees or are in an open area.

    Wood siding for sheds is a good skirting for campers and trailers for winter, consider adding foam board and heavy plastic to the underside of the trailer and over the crawlspace to conserve more heat and buff the cold winter winds. Also, get the vent cushions to cover your AC during winter, these are often found in RV stores or online.

   Buy some cheap shower curtain liners, fold them in half, cut to your window size and put them over the windows on the outside of the camper/trailer just to where they overlap the window frame (and if you have a patio door frame, do the same) and make sure to tape with outdoor heavy duty tape found at Home Depot or other hardware stores and also consider caulking with wet weather caulk on the interior of the camper/trailer where there's cracks, such as around the around the main doors, windows & closet seams where they meet the floor and use expanding foam to fill the areas around the floor seam of the popout if you have one.

rv homesteading
   Invest in Styrofoam insulation panels (12 pack for $8) from Home Depot and  put those inside the cabinets, closets, the storage space in the bedroom closet and under the sinks.  Under the tub, and that small space behind the toilet where the pipe sits in front, and stuff in fiberglass bats and make an inside cover with a square piece of Styrofoam insulation. Insulate your sinks as well!

    Put a wool blanket under your flat sheet on your bed, and consider layering two or three thick microfiber blankets on top for warmth when you sleep, also layer thin and thick blankets for your bed coverings, layers do wonders and if you don't have electricity, consider investing in a hot water bottle or pack, otherwise plug in that heating blanket!

    Put thermal curtains or blankets over your windows, open them while the sun is out for passive solar heating and close them up when it starts to get dark. Also, consider painting a few 2 Liter soda bottles black, fill them with water and let the sun heat them up during the day outside, bring them inside to let the warmth leach into the camper/trailer, if you find one or two isn't enough try a few more but larger water containers will take longer to heat up and may end up freezing and having the opposite effect instead.

Invest in a generator if money allows and stock up on fuel when it's the cheapest. Do not store fuel next to your camper/trailer, but in a safe area a good distance away in approved containers.

Some have installed wood stoves into their travel trailers, this can be a dangerous fire hazard and if you have one installed make sure that you have at least two fire distinguishers handy and never leave your camper/trailer unattended with a live fire in the wood stove.